Tom Brady is landslide winner so far in Bill Belichick divorce

So, the early returns are in.

Tom Brady and life without Bill Belichick.

Belichick and life without Brady.

Seven weeks into their separation/divorce, Brady is the winner.

In a landslide.

Life in New England without Brady has turned Belichick Beli-sick.

Brady’s grumpy ex is mired in an uncharacteristic struggle, his 2020 Patriots are 2-4 and above only the Jets in the AFC East standings after Sunday’s eye-opening 33-6 loss to the 49ers at Gillette Stadium, their worst home loss since before Belichick was hired more than 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, Brady is having the time of his life with his new besties in Tompa Bay.

Brady and the Buccaneers are 5-2 and in first place in the NFC South. Along the way, he’s hardly looked like a 43-year-old on the decline, having thrown for 1,910 yards, 18 TD passes to only four INTs and with a 102.7 passer rating.

It sure looks like Belichick and New England miss Brady a lot more than Brady misses Belichick and New England.

Remember two games ago when we made fun of Brady for losing track of the downs at the end of a loss to the Bears — the lasting image of that night in Chicago being Brady holding up four fingers while pleading with the officiating crew that it was fourth down after he’d actually just thrown an incomplete pass on fourth down?

Well, Brady threw four TD passes in a 45-20 road rout of the Raiders Sunday. There are two words for that: Last laugh.

This was always going to be the most compelling storyline of the 2020 NFL season: How Brady would fare without Belichick and how Belichick would be able to move on without Brady, the man who compiled a remarkable 219-64 regular-season win-loss record in his 20 years of marriage to Belichick, throwing 541 TD passes to 179 INTs with a 97.0 rating and winning six Super Bowl titles.

Of course neither man would ever cop to his true feelings publicly, but if you gave them each a glass of Cabernet laced with truth serum, Belichick would tell you he burns to show that he can win without Brady and Brady that he burns to prove he was not a product of Belichick’s brilliant coaching.

What has transpired though the first seven weeks of this season — and, in fairness, there’s still a lot of season remaining before this story draws its definitive conclusion — is this: Brady is enhancing his legend while at least a little bit of the shine is being rubbed from Belichick’s star.

The quarterback Belichick replaced Brady with, Cam Newton, has thrown two TD passes and seven INTs in his six starts with New England.

Sunday was not one of Belichick’s better days.

While Brady was raging in Las Vegas, Newton was so bad in the loss to the 49ers (three INTs and 98 passing yards) he was benched in favor of Jarrett Stidham.

Adding to the insult was the fact that the winning quarterback at Gillette Stadium was the quarterback who was supposed to be Brady’s heir apparent — Jimmy Garoppolo. But Garoppolo, against Belichick’s will, was reportedly driven out of New England (for a mere second-round draft pick) by Brady’s insecurity, not wanting the franchise’s future hovering over his shoulder as a distraction.

It was all enough to push Belichick to retreat underneath his hoodie.

The entire mess — Brady excelling in Tampa, the Pats’ current three-game losing streak, Newton’s inconsistency — has all left the privileged locals in New England borderline apoplectic, with the sports radio waves in Boston awash with angst from disillusioned (delusional?) callers.

This is what happens to fans after they’ve watched their team win the past 11 AFC East titles, 16 of the past 17 and for 17 of the 20 years Belichick has coached in New England.

Words from former NFL coach and current NBC studio analyst Tony Dungy, who’s not known for TV shock-talk hyperbole, were rather damning Sunday night while addressing the current state of Belichick’s Patriots.

“Bill Belichick is the best fixer of problems I’ve ever seen, but I’m not sure if this is salvageable,” Dungy said. “It just looks like it’s getting worse. There is no continuity on offense or defense.”


“We were clearly out-coached, outplayed, just out-everything,” Belichick said after the 49ers game. “We’re just not performing at a good level right now in any area.”

Especially at quarterback.

Cue the Brady social media posts after his latest victory, flashing his smug $50 million smile that screams: “My life is perfect, how’s yours?”

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